Florida’s Shelton, Texas’ Stearns win NCAA tennis titles

May 28, 2022, 4:01 AM | Updated: 4:02 pm

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Ben Shelton rallied to beat San Diego’s August Holmgren and give Florida back-to-back men’s singles national championships and Peyton Stearns of Texas took the women’s title with a straight-sets win over Stanford’s Connie Ma on Saturday at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Stearns, a sophomore and the No. 2 seed, avenged one of only two season losses when she beat Ma 6-3, 6-2. The unseeded freshman beat Stearns 7-6(7), 2-6, 6-2 in February as the Cardinal beat Texas 5-2. Stearns, who dropped just one set out of 11 at the championships, completed her season 33-2, with her other loss against Virginia’s Emma Navarro as Texas — which won its second consecutive women’s team title last Sunday — beat the Cavaliers 4-2 in the quarterfinals of NCAA team competition.

Stearns won the program’s first singles title and became the first Texas woman to make a finals appearance since 1995.

Second-ranked Shelton defeated No. 6 Holmgren 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The Gators became the first men’s tennis program since 2004-05 to have different competitors win back-to-back titles. Florida’s Sam Riffice defeated Daniel Rodriques of South Carolina 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to win the 2021 title.

Cleeve Harper and Richard Ciamarra of Texas beat Ohio State’s Matej Vocel and Robert Cash 5-7, 6-4, 10-7 in the men’s doubles championship.

Top-seeded Jaeda Daniel and Nell Miller of N.C. State beat Miami’s Daevenia Achong and Eden Richardson, 6-2, 7-5 to win the Wolfpack’s first women’s doubles title.

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